Space Law and the UN Treaty

Speakers: Michael Franks, Adam Manning, Mike Leggett and Jerry Stone

Date: 31 January 2017
Start Time: 7 pm
End Time: 8:30 pm

Venue: 27/29 South Lambeth Road, Vauxhall, London, SW8 1SZ

The SPACE Project is a BIS study to re-examine and update the space colony plans from the 1970s. Unlike most BIS projects this covers many topics beyond the engineering aspects. These include the legal situation regarding the use of material from the Moon or asteroids, and how a space colony might be governed. The UN Treaty on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space prohibits governments from claiming celestial bodies, but what about a private company or consortium that wants to use lunar material?

2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the UN Treaty, which was published in January 1967 and went into force in October that year. The BIS plans to mark this with two events – an evening of 3 short presentations in January and a 1-day symposium in October.

The event will have presentations by Michael Franks, Adam Manning and Mike Leggett, with an introduction and discussion led by Jerry Stone, Leader of The SPACE Project

The evening will include the following topics:

  • What law would apply to a space colony? Would it be necessary to draw up articles of association between the colonist like the 19th Centaury Pirate articles.
  • What are the Treaty’s implications for private organisations seeking to mine asteroids or build settlements on the Moon or Mars? Is Space Law’s concept of the common heritage of mankind appropriate in the age of SpaceX, Blue Origin, Deep Space Industries and Planetary Resources?
  • What is the technical and commercial potential of the utilisation of extraterrestrial resources?



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